LAGUNA HONDA: Chronicle Says More Discussion Needed
The $502 million bond measure City Hall is putting on the November ballot to save Laguna Honda Hospital "poses a host of unresolved questions on health care, cost and politics," an editorial in today's San Francisco Chronicle contends. While the plan advocated by City Hall has "instant appeal" because the hospital needs a "major overhaul" and the city has a tradition of "humane concern for the elderly," the Chronicle notes that "city costs are notoriously high, and alternatives such as disbursing patients to private facilities have not been discussed." The Chronicle warns, "Get ready to dig deep, San Francisco voters," noting the costs that will be passed on to land owners and tenants alike if the measure passes. "It's no surprise that politics play a part in all this," the Chronicle says, noting that those pushing for the bond measure -- Supervisor Amos Brown, Mayor Willie Brown (D) and the Fang family -- all have a vested interest. Supervisor Brown is "running for re-election" and "wants a lead role to boost his image." Mayor Brown "can use a motherhood issue to pre-empt conservative rival," state Sen. Quentin Kopp (I-San Francisco). And the Fang family, which publishes a local paper, "want[s] to make Laguna Honda a major cause to expand its clout." The Chronicle concludes: "No one favors keeping an aging, decrepit city facility. But what is needed, and so far missing, is a clear debate on Laguna Honda's future. Slogans and sanctimony have replaced reason on an important issue" (7/22).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.